Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that the US plans to keep troops in Syria under the pretext of protecting the country’s oil fields is “tantamount to robbery”.
“A few words about what the United States has been doing in northern Syria. Of course, its attempt to put oil fields there under control is illegal. In fact, it’s tantamount to robbery,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. “It spells nothing good for the Syrian settlement. It merely preserves a major annoyance in that part of the country,” he added.
The Russian minister said his country will insist that the Syrian army occupy the entire territory of the country as quickly as possible, saying that “only this will help put a reliable end to terrorism and help resolve all issues related to the final political settlement”.
Reports have recently emerged that the US army was deploying armoured vehicles and Abrams heavy tanks around the country’s northern oil fields.
US President Donald Trump said last week that he intends to keep some American forces in Syria to protect the oil fields in Deir Ez-Zor.
“We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil. I like oil. We’re keeping the oil,” he said.
British newspaper the Guardian reported that the US president hinted in early November that seizing some of Syria’s natural resources would be “fair compensation” for the cost of war fought by the United States in Syria.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said on Sunday that his country will probably keep less than 1,000 US troops in northeastern Syria.